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Startup Junkie

Through united efforts, the Startup Junkie team is improving lives through innovation and entrepreneurship. Startup Junkie Consulting marked its beginnings in 2008 and formally organized as an LLC in 2011 by offering consulting services at no-cost to entrepreneurs. In order to expand the reach, impact, and depth of services, Startup Junkie Foundation was born in 2015. As two companies sharing the same purpose, mission, vision, and values, the team is jointly building entrepreneurial ecosystems in Northwest Arkansas through providing no-cost, one-on-one consulting; events, workshops, and programs; and access to capital and talent. Extending outside of the Ozarks region, Startup Junkie Consulting is also boosting emerging entrepreneurial communities spanning from Canada to South America.



The Conductor is a public-private partnership between the University of Central Arkansas and Startup Junkie Consulting, the Conductor drives innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic empowerment in Central Arkansas. Learn more about their services and impact here.




Founding Principal, Startup Junkie Consulting

Jeff is one of the key leaders nationally involved with the creation of lasting venture ecosystems. Jeff has held senior leadership positions in nine startups and three Fortune 500 companies, and he has made more than 80+ angel investments into new ventures and small businesses either directly or through the funds he manages. Jeff now leads Startup Junkie Consulting and Cadron Capital partners. Jeff served as Associate Vice Provost, Research and Economic Development, and Director of Technology Ventures at the University of Arkansas until leaving to pursue Startup Junkie Consulting full-time. His work at the University canvassed every aspect of the commercialization of life science, biotech, medical devices, healthcare information technology, pharma, and other areas of scientific and technical innovation. Jeff is a recognized expert in lean startup methodology and customer development processes. In addition, Jeff is an adjunct professor and teaches entrepreneurship at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. Prior to all of this, Jeff served six years as United States Air Force Officer, working in the Strategic Air Command as a missile launch officer and later in research and development acquisition. Jeff graduated from United States Naval Academy in 1984 and holds a Master of Science in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas. He is a certified Project Management Institute Project Management Professional (PMP).



Executive Director, Startup Junkie Foundation

As Executive Director of Startup Junkie Foundation, Haley Allgood leads programs focused on entrepreneurial education, inclusive ecosystem development, and workforce training. She has been a key member of the NWA startup community,  providing assistance to startups and small businesses in Northwest Arkansas since 2014. Her expertise lies in contract management, enterprise sales, and operations. Haley holds a Master’s in Business Administration with a focus in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the Sam M. Walton College of Business and a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arkansas. Haley was recognized in the 2017 cohort of “The New Influentials: 20 in Their 20’s” by Arkansas Business and was awarded the 2016 Women Small Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Arkansas District Office for her work leading inclusive programs such as the Ozarks Regional InnovateHER competition, the 2.7.0. Accelerator, and ScaleUp Ozarks.

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Brett amerine

Chief Operating Officer, Startup Junkie Consulting

Brett is the Chairman and Co-Founder of the Startup Junkie Foundation, the Chief Operating Officer at Startup Junkie Consulting, managing member of the Tonic Fund, Co-Founder and Partner of IdeaFame, and the Co-Founder and General Partner at Cadron Capital Partners. Prior to this, Brett served nearly 5 years in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Los Angeles, California, as a United States Air Force Officer specializing in project management and contract management. Brett led high-visibility, multi-million and billion-dollar service, construction, and aerospace contracts and project teams. Brett began his career as a Summer Financial Analyst at Walmart’s Headquarters where he focused on the Optical Finance Department leading operational efficiency projects. Brett graduated from the University of Arkansas College of Engineering with a master’s degree in Operations Management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business. Northwest Arkansas Business Journal named Brett as one of the region’s “Fast 15”. Brett is a certified Project Management Institute Project Management Professional (PMP).


Chief Relationship Officer, Startup Junkie Foundation

Michael is both a connector and a community organizer. During his tenure at Startup Junkie, he has assisted with more than 500 new ventures.  He has lead initiatives including the NWA Venture MashUp, co-hosting and producing the Startup Junkies Podcast, and teaching the 8th grade entrepreneurship course at The New School. He is quick to pursue any new opportunity aimed at building the talent, capital, and community pillars that are required to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northwest Arkansas. Michael is also an entrepreneur in his own right. He has completed a board game launch with a successful Kickstarter campaign and co-founded BioBotic Systems, a venture-backed medical device company that began as an honors thesis project at the University of Arkansas. Michael graduated from the University of Arkansas with a finance degree in 2014. Outside of the office Michael likes running marathons, conversations around campfires, and any activity that involves playing outside.


Phyl Amerine

Executive Consultant, Startup Junkie Consulting

Phyl has worked as a volunteer and advisor in nonprofit marketing for over 12 years. She has been involved in the creation of eight startups. She holds the honor of having been recognized by Governor Mike Huckabee for her volunteer work. Phyl attended Bowie State University, where she majored in Communications. She began her professional career as a daily newspaper reporter covering the Wyoming state government and the early careers of Dick Cheney and Alan Simpson. In her first startup, she was responsible for developing all market strategies for international licensing and partner selection with significant emphasis in Korea, China, Spain, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Singapore and India. She defined market opportunity and strategy for one of the initial Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in India. In another startup, she formed a strategic relationship with a Korean-based international telecommunications carrier, successfully gained FCC 214 licensing for US operations, and served as General Manager of Marketing. Phyl is also currently active in the local investment community.

Taylor Hasley

Consultant, Startup Junkie Foundation

As a consultant at Startup Junkie, Taylor helps entrepreneurs quantify their ideas and develop a roadmap for achieving success. Prior to joining Startup Junkie, Taylor worked as a Senior Analyst at Zweig Group where he was primarily responsible for supporting the financials of Mergers & Acquisitions and Strategic Planning engagements. Taylor has also worked as an Analyst for NewRoad Capital Partners where he became well versed in all aspects of private equity. He graduated from the Sam M. Walton Honors College of Business in 2018 with a degree in Accounting and Finance with a concentration in investments. While a student at the University, Taylor served as the Portfolio Manager of the student led investment portfolios totaling over $10MM AUM and was awarded first place in both growth and value investing at the Quinnipiac Global Asset Management Forum in NYC. Taylor is also the Founder & CEO of Ameliorate Technologies, LLC where he gained experience managing international business relationships from outsourcing the development of his proprietary, autonomous arbitrage solutions platform for eCommerce inefficiencies to a team of Polish data scientist.